Former Orcas Island resident John Michael (Mickey) Odell, who was killed in Vietnam, is being honored on May 23 special ceremony in Keyport, Washington.
The Navy Gold Star Program is partnering with the Kitsap Naval Station to hold a “Vietnam Pinning Ceremony” for those were not given a “proper welcome home.” They will also be honoring two fallen soldiers, one of whom is Odell. The event is from 10 a.m. to noon at the Naval Undersea Museum.
Any Vietnam veteran wishing to be in attendance, recognized and receive a pin, can email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, May 11. The public is also welcome to attend; RSVP at the above address.
Odell grew up on Orcas and later attended Western Washington University. He joined the Marines and fought in Vietnam. A funeral was held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, where he had served as an altar boy as a teenager. He is buried at the cemetery in Olga.
“A group of us built a window in the church in his honor,” said former Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro, who was Odell’s roommate at WWU. “We try to put flowers on his grave every year.”